Little Whispers, Nikki Miranda

Ceasefire

First Reading
Acts 14:19-28
In those days, some Jews from Antioch and Iconium
arrived and won over the crowds.
They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city,
supposing that he was dead.
But when the disciples gathered around him,
he got up and entered the city.
On the following day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.

After they had proclaimed the good news to that city
and made a considerable number of disciples,
they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch.
They strengthened the spirits of the disciples
and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying,
“It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships
to enter the Kingdom of God.”
They appointed presbyters for them in each Church and,
with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord
in whom they had put their faith.
Then they traveled through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia.
After proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia.
From there they sailed to Antioch,
where they had been commended to the grace of God
for the work they had now accomplished.
And when they arrived, they called the Church together
and reported what God had done with them
and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.
Then they spent no little time with the disciples.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 145:10-11, 12-13, 21
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.

or:
R. Alleluia.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Making known to men your might
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is a kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
or:
R. Alleluia.
May my mouth speak the praise of the LORD,
and may all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel
John 14:27-31A
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
You heard me tell you,
‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’
If you loved me,
you would rejoice that I am going to the Father;
for the Father is greater than I.
And now I have told you this before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe.
I will no longer speak much with you,
for the ruler of the world is coming.
He has no power over me,
but the world must know that I love the Father
and that I do just as the Father has commanded me.”

find-inner-peace-within

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid” John 14:27

REFLECTION
Have you ever asked yourself “What part of my life needs peace?” It may be in a relationship, in your home, in school, or even at work.

There’s only one answer that comes to mind whenever I think of that question and it is that I lack peace within myself. I get so too anxious, unsure, and puzzled even though there’s nothing to worry about. It all gets noisy in my head. I sometimes feel like I’m at war with my own thoughts and that results in me having to avoid people and situations.

In the Gospel today, Jesus promises us peace. There are this certain peace and love that the Lord offers that I can’t seem to find in others and that peace is what helps me and sustains me daily. He reassures us that we should not be afraid for He left us with peace. Not to escape the challenges that we face but instead to face these problems courageously. He surrounds me with people who make me feel His peace. Whenever I’m with these people I feel that peace and the noise just go away and the battle between me and my thoughts just ends.

Reflection Song

Glimmer In The Dust by Hillsong UNITED

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Little Whispers, Nikki Miranda

Lockdown

First Reading
Ezekiel 37:21-28
Thus says the Lord GOD:
I will take the children of Israel from among the nations
to which they have come,
and gather them from all sides to bring them back to their land.
I will make them one nation upon the land,
in the mountains of Israel,
and there shall be one prince for them all.
Never again shall they be two nations,
and never again shall they be divided into two kingdoms.

No longer shall they defile themselves with their idols,
their abominations, and all their transgressions.
I will deliver them from all their sins of apostasy,
and cleanse them so that they may be my people
and I may be their God.
My servant David shall be prince over them,
and there shall be one shepherd for them all;
they shall live by my statutes and carefully observe my decrees.
They shall live on the land that I gave to my servant Jacob,
the land where their fathers lived;
they shall live on it forever,
they, and their children, and their children’s children,
with my servant David their prince forever.
I will make with them a covenant of peace;
it shall be an everlasting covenant with them,
and I will multiply them, and put my sanctuary among them forever.
My dwelling shall be with them;
I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Thus the nations shall know that it is I, the LORD,
who make Israel holy,
when my sanctuary shall be set up among them forever.

Responsorial Psalm
Jeremiah 31:10, 11-12ABCD, 13
R.    (see 10d)  The Lord will guard us, as a shepherd guards his flock.
Hear the word of the LORD, O nations,
proclaim it on distant isles, and say:
He who scattered Israel, now gathers them together,
he guards them as a shepherd his flock.
R.    The Lord will guard us, as a shepherd guards his flock.
The LORD shall ransom Jacob,
he shall redeem him from the hand of his conqueror.
Shouting, they shall mount the heights of Zion,
they shall come streaming to the LORD’s blessings:
The grain, the wine, and the oil,
the sheep and the oxen.
R.    The Lord will guard us, as a shepherd guards his flock.
Then the virgins shall make merry and dance,
and young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning into joy,
I will console and gladden them after their sorrows.
R.    The Lord will guard us, as a shepherd guards his flock.

Gospel
John 11:45-56
Many of the Jews who had come to Mary
and seen what Jesus had done began to believe in him.
But some of them went to the Pharisees
and told them what Jesus had done.
So the chief priests and the Pharisees
convened the Sanhedrin and said,
“What are we going to do?
This man is performing many signs.
If we leave him alone, all will believe in him,
and the Romans will come
and take away both our land and our nation.”
But one of them, Caiaphas,
who was high priest that year, said to them,
“You know nothing,
nor do you consider that it is better for you
that one man should die instead of the people,
so that the whole nation may not perish.”
He did not say this on his own,
but since he was high priest for that year,
he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation,
and not only for the nation,
but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God.
So from that day on they planned to kill him.

So Jesus no longer walked about in public among the Jews,
but he left for the region near the desert,
to a town called Ephraim,
and there he remained with his disciples.

Now the Passover of the Jews was near,
and many went up from the country to Jerusalem
before Passover to purify themselves.
They looked for Jesus and said to one another
as they were in the temple area, “What do you think?
That he will not come to the feast?”


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“Never again shall they be two nations ,and never again shall they be divided into two kingdoms.” (Ezekiel 37:22)

REFLECTION
Three weeks has passed since the government announced that our country will be under enhanced quarantine for a month. We’ve been separated and isolated from our friends, co-workers and loved ones. We are all doing this to prevent the virus from further spreading. Some are prepared for this and others are struggling to survive this crisis.

But this is all temporary. All the struggles we are all facing are not the same and thinking positively and optimistically won’t help us in our current situation but by doing our part in our society, maybe all of this be over soon as long as we stay inside and pray that all of this will eventually come to an end.

In the first reading, the Lord is telling the people of Israel that He will be cleansing them from all their sins so that He will be served as their God. The Israelites were divided because of idols and transgressions but the Lord has sent them David so that the whole nation may be connected as one.

The Lord is telling us that we shall not worry if we are divided for we will all be united in Him. It is hard for us to be away from each other but this is also the time for us to stay connected with the Lord. He knows the struggles we are facing and how hard it is for others who have nothing right now but, the Lord is assuring us that He will bring us all back together and He will restore everything that destroyed us during this crisis.

Prayer
Lord help us remember that even though we are apart from each other, we will always be linked together because of Your never ending love for us. Amen.

Author

wc-nikki

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Photo by: Martin Sanchez (@martinsanchez at unsplash.com)

Little Whispers, Nikki Miranda

Options

First Reading
Romans 12:5-16AB
Brothers and sisters:
We, though many, are one Body in Christ
and individually parts of one another.
Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us,
let us exercise them:
if prophecy, in proportion to the faith;
if ministry, in ministering;
if one is a teacher, in teaching;
if one exhorts, in exhortation;
if one contributes, in generosity;
if one is over others, with diligence;
if one does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

Let love be sincere;
hate what is evil,
hold on to what is good;
love one another with mutual affection;
anticipate one another in showing honor.
Do not grow slack in zeal,
be fervent in spirit,
serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope,
endure in affliction,
persevere in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of the holy ones,
exercise hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you,
bless and do not curse them.
Rejoice with those who rejoice,
weep with those who weep.
Have the same regard for one another;
do not be haughty but associate with the lowly.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 131:1BCDE, 2, 3
R. In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.
O LORD, my heart is not proud,
nor are my eyes haughty;
I busy not myself with great things,
nor with things too sublime for me.
R. In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.
Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted
my soul like a weaned child.
Like a weaned child on its mother’s lap,
so is my soul within me.
R. In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.
O Israel, hope in the LORD,
both now and forever.
R. In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.

Gospel
Luke 14:15-24

One of those at table with Jesus said to him,
“Blessed is the one who will dine in the Kingdom of God.”
He replied to him,
“A man gave a great dinner to which he invited many.
When the time for the dinner came,
he dispatched his servant to say to those invited,
‘Come, everything is now ready.’
But one by one, they all began to excuse themselves.
The first said to him,
‘I have purchased a field and must go to examine it;
I ask you, consider me excused.’
And another said, ‘I have purchased five yoke of oxen
and am on my way to evaluate them;
I ask you, consider me excused.’
And another said, ‘I have just married a woman,
and therefore I cannot come.’
The servant went and reported this to his master.
Then the master of the house in a rage commanded his servant,
‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town
and bring in here the poor and the crippled,
the blind and the lame.’
The servant reported, ‘Sir, your orders have been carried out
and still there is room.’
The master then ordered the servant,
‘Go out to the highways and hedgerows
and make people come in that my home may be filled.
For, I tell you, none of those men who were invited will taste my dinner.'”


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“Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.” (Romans 11:29)

REFLECTION
An indecisive person like me could never decide in an instant. My family and my closest friends know that I take about an hour to get ready because I have to make 3-4 outfit changes before leaving the house, even though I end up choosing the first outfit I tried on. I take so long ordering a meal because I couldn’t decide what food to eat, but still I order the same thing everytime I eat out.

Even though I have a hard time choosing and planning things ahead of time, when it comes to other things, one thing is for sure: My Saturdays and Sundays are reserved for service for the Lord. I will always choose service among everything else.

In the first reading, the Lord is telling us that we should not be conquered by evil. We are liberated people of God, but we are confronted with many disobedient decisions in the course of daily life. The Lord is simply telling us that He has already planned everything for us beforehand, so why wouldn’t we choose to obey Him? Despite our indecisiveness, the Lord is always waiting for us to finally choose Him and His plans for us.

St. Paul only asks that we serve the Lord, and persevere in prayer, for He has been calling, and continues to call us during the times when we are busy deciding between Him and earthly things.

Prayer
Father, make us realize that there should be no other option when it comes to You. Help us see what is in store for us when we start choosing You. Amen.

Author

wc-nikki

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Photo by: Becca McHaffie (@beccamchaffie at unsplash.com)

Little Whispers, Nikki Miranda

Reap in Joy

First Reading
Ezra 1:1-6

In the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia,
in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah,
the LORD inspired King Cyrus of Persia
to issue this proclamation throughout his kingdom,
both by word of mouth and in writing:
“Thus says Cyrus, king of Persia:
‘All the kingdoms of the earth
the LORD, the God of heaven, has given to me,
and he has also charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem,
which is in Judah.
Therefore, whoever among you belongs to any part of his people,
let him go up, and may his God be with him!
Let everyone who has survived, in whatever place he may have dwelt,
be assisted by the people of that place
with silver, gold, goods, and cattle,
together with free-will offerings
for the house of God in Jerusalem.'”

Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin
and the priests and Levites–
everyone, that is, whom God had inspired to do so–
prepared to go up to build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem.
All their neighbors gave them help in every way,
with silver, gold, goods, and cattle,
and with many precious gifts
besides all their free-will offerings.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 126:1B-2AB, 2CD-3, 4-5, 6
R.(3) The Lord has done marvels for us.

When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with rejoicing.
R.The Lord has done marvels for us.
Then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad indeed.
R.The Lord has done marvels for us.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those that sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.
R.The Lord has done marvels for us.
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
R.The Lord has done marvels for us.

Gospel
Luke 8:16-18
Jesus said to the crowd:
“No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel
or sets it under a bed;
rather, he places it on a lampstand
so that those who enter may see the light.
For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible,
and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light.
Take care, then, how you hear.
To anyone who has, more will be given,
and from the one who has not,
even what he seems to have will be taken away.”


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“Although they go forth weeping, carrying the seed to be sown. They shall come back rejoicing, carrying their sheaves.” (Psalm 126:6)

REFLECTION
Upon reading the Word and writing this reflection, I thought about all the low points I’ve experienced in my life so far. All the times when I felt that everything was going downhill, all the times I cried myself to sleep, and all the times when I felt like I had no one. As I remembered those things, I realized that I brought myself in those positions in the first place. This was because I used to let myself be hurt by the people around me. I kept on letting prideful, dishonest, and selfish people enter my life.

Looking back, the reason why I felt like everything was crumbling was because I didn’t forgive those people immediately. I knew that forgiving was the right thing to do, but at the same time, it was the hardest. I was afraid, because I thought that after I forgive them, the pain would not go away in an instant. But eventually, it did.

In today’s readings, it says that we must carry the seeds we must sow so that we may be able to reap the harvest. It is impossible to live a life without struggles, problems, burdens, and heartbreaks. But one thing for sure is that with God, you are ensured to have a future full of hope.

Forgiveness is only one of the many ways that will lead us to returning back home to the Lord. We may not always feel the His presence, yet He never grows tired of asking us to trust and have faith in Him. We will continue to endure many more trials in the future, but with His merciful hand, He will gladly let us rejoice after and give us victory over all of these.

Reflection Song

Touch the Sky by Hillsong UNITED

Author

wc-nikki

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Little Whispers, Nikki Miranda

Lesson One

First Reading
1 Thessalonians 4:9-11

Brothers and sisters:
On the subject of fraternal charity
you have no need for anyone to write you,
for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another.
Indeed, you do this for all the brothers throughout Macedonia.
Nevertheless we urge you, brothers and sisters, to progress even more,
and to aspire to live a tranquil life,
to mind your own affairs,
and to work with your own hands,
as we instructed you.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 98:1, 7-8, 9
R.(9) The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.

Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Let the sea and what fills it resound,
the world and those who dwell in it;
Let the rivers clap their hands,
the mountains shout with them for joy.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Before the LORD, for he comes,
for he comes to rule the earth;
He will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with equity.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.

Gospel
Matthew 25:14-30

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“A man going on a journey
called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one–
to each according to his ability.
Then he went away.
Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them,
and made another five.
Likewise, the one who received two made another two.
But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground
and buried his master’s money.
After a long time
the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received five talents
came forward bringing the additional five.
He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents.
See, I have made five more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.’
Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said,
‘Master, you gave me two talents.
See, I have made two more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.’
Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said,
‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person,
harvesting where you did not plant
and gathering where you did not scatter;
so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.
Here it is back.’
His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!
So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant
and gather where I did not scatter?
Should you not then have put my money in the bank
so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?
Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.
For to everyone who has,
more will be given and he will grow rich;
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'”


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“… you have no need for anyone to write you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another” (1 Thessalonians 4:9)

REFLECTION
I grew up in the comfort of a loving environment. My parents have always been supportive in everything my siblings and I choose to do. I have no recollection of them not being open to new things I wanted to try. I am who I am today because of the things they’ve taught me.

Sadly, one thing they did not teach me was how cruel the world is.

It was when I entered high school when I realized that not everything would be easy and simple. I was not prepared to enter new territory. It felt like a constant competition with the people around me. I was hurt because I was judged for having different views from others. I was lied to and betrayed by people who were close to my heart.

Little by little, I was forgetting the most important lesson that my parents taught me, and that was to love and forgive even if it isn’t always easy to do. To love and forgive, no matter what other people say. To love and forgive, because that is what God would do.

I am very much blessed with parents who show me the love God wants me to see and feel as they have always placed Jesus in the center of our family.

Today, God is calling us to love, with His love. We may not always see eye to eye with others, but I know God would want all of us to look into their hearts with love and forgiveness.

Prayer
Almighty Father, thank You for gifting me with mentors remind me to love and forgive. Use me so that I may also teach Your love to others. Amen.

Author

wc-nikki

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Photo by: Cole Patrick (@colepatrick at unsplash.com)

 

Little Whispers, Nikki Miranda

Dress Up

First Reading
ROM 1:16-25

Brothers and sisters:
I am not ashamed of the Gospel.
It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes:
for Jew first, and then Greek.
For in it is revealed the righteousness of God from faith to faith;
as it is written, “The one who is righteous by faith will live.”

The wrath of God is indeed being revealed from heaven
against every impiety and wickedness
of those who suppress the truth by their wickedness.
For what can be known about God is evident to them,
because God made it evident to them.
Ever since the creation of the world,
his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity
have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made.
As a result, they have no excuse;
for although they knew God
they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks.
Instead, they became vain in their reasoning,
and their senseless minds were darkened.
While claiming to be wise, they became fools
and exchanged the glory of the immortal God
for the likeness of an image of mortal man
or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes.

Therefore, God handed them over to impurity
through the lusts of their hearts
for the mutual degradation of their bodies.
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie
and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator,
who is blessed forever. Amen.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 19:2-3, 4-5
R. (2a) The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day,
and night to night imparts knowledge.
R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
Not a word nor a discourse
whose voice is not heard;
Through all the earth their voice resounds,
and to the ends of the world, their message.
R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

Gospel
LK 11:37-41

After Jesus had spoken,
a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home.
He entered and reclined at table to eat.
The Pharisee was amazed to see
that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal.
The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees!
Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish,
inside you are filled with plunder and evil.
You fools!
Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside?
But as to what is within, give alms,
and behold, everything will be clean for you.”


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“You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside?.” (Luke 11:40)

REFLECTION

I have always liked dressing up since I was little. I would always ask my Dad to give me enough “shopping money” every time we go to the mall and shop for the latest and prettiest fashion trends. Until now, not a day would pass by without me having to browse websites or watch videos about fashion since I don’t have the time to go to the mall anymore.

I would always try out the things I want to buy and see if it looks good on me.

Just this Friday, since classes got canceled due to the bad weather, I went with my mom to the Mall. I was so excited to see new clothes and know about the latest trends. But before that, we went to the Chapel inside the mall to hear mass since it was the First Friday of the month. While we were walking towards the Chapel my mom said “Halika Nikki magconfess tayo.(Nikki, lets go to confession.)

I refused to go and confess because I was not prepared. But I had no choice, eventually I gave in to my mom.

I was like the Pharisees who didn’t care much about their inner self but cared more about the outer appearance. Dressing up and looking good on the outside does may matter, but it is what is in the inside that matters the most.

Prayer
Lord, send your spirit upon us so that we may be cleansed inside and out.

Author

miranda-nikki-wc

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